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Gray beard Bell Labs scientists and Unix operating system co-creators Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson have been awarded the 2011 Japan Prize for information and communications. Ritchie worked at Bell Labs (in its many incarnations) until he retired in 2007. Thompson held positions at Bell Labs as well as at the University of …

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Terminator

Domo Arigato, T & R!

Thank you very much, Thompson and Ritchie,

-- - for writing an O.S. that will not crash easily.

Thank you very much, Thompson and Ritchie

-- -- for building a protocol to bring my packets to me.

Domo (Domo)!

Domo (Domo)!

[RotM, in tribute.]

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Coat

Great news

A well deserved accolade. Congratulations.

(PS. Ken Thompson started it on a PDP-7 not a 11)

Mines the anorak with a well thumbed Lion's photocopy in the pocket

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UNIX

UNIX was a wonderful thing in the late 1970s, when I first began using it. It's so difficult to make something simple. BSD added a lot of the features of VMS (efficient file system, paging), and Linux had incorporated many of the features of NT. UNIX has lost its simplicity, but it is still an important system.

@K.Adams, believe me, UNIX know how to crash. The original Ritchie/Thompson UNIX crashed, and it crashed bad. Remember, before NT, operating systems didn't journal file systems, and V6 UNIX often required painstaking manual repair of its file system after a failure.

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WTF?

RE- Unix

UNIX has not lost it's simplicity, perhaps it's just too complicated for you......

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Pint

Well deserved prize for "Unix and C"

But "any Linux distro" sounds really funny. Which Unix distro are you comparing with,

the AIX distro or the HP-UX distro perhaps.

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Megaphone

It's called "K & R C" for a reason...

Bet Brian Kernighan is miffed.

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Silver badge

It's another of TPM's historical fictions

Omitting Brian Kernighan from his historical comments on C is only one of a number of goofball assertions in this piece:

"C programming language, arguably the most popular and cursed-at programming language in the history of the world" -- such arguments no doubt employing the classical rhetorical technique of "wild unsupported claims".

"At that moment, the commercial Internet as we know it was inevitable" -- oh, no doubt. Now TPM has invented the theory of Network Protocol Historical Determinism.

"once TCP/IP protocol affiliated with Unix systems took over the ISPs of the world and beat out IBM's SNA and myriad other protocols in the corporate data center, it was no time at all before all systems spoke the same network" -- since this process began in 1983 and has not yet completed (yes, Timmy, there are still SNA networks), "no time at all" is something of an exaggeration. Even in computing, 28 years is considered a bit of a lag.

But at least the prose moves right along. As IT historical fictions go, Morgan isn't Stob, but he's readable. ("Less awkward than a Russinovich thriller!" -- Publisher's Weekly)

But TPM's musings aside, it's nice to see Thompson and Richie get this award. I've worked with many platforms, and though Unix has failings, on the whole it's not a bad environment for many purposes.

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concurred

Yes guys, thanks for the fun (at times) career you made possible.

And next time, spell creat with an "e" please !

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Elegant, Simple and Powerful

The thing that set Unix apart is the elegance, simplicity and power of its basic design. In the late 70s' PDP-11 computers with 2 Mbyte (max memory) could support 20-30 concurrent users with a core OS API that is substantailly unchanged in todays' Unixes (though many other features have been added).

Its a credit to the designers that so many of the original ideas have stood the test of time and provided a platform for so many new developments.

Current windows systems also include many 'features' of the original 80's DOS, but how we suffer for that continuity...

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